Laluo, Jiantou in China

Joshua Project has identified the Laluo, Jiantou only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



Although this group simply calls itself Laluo in their own language, the Chinese call them Jiantou Yi or Jiantou Laluo to distinguish them from the Mishaba Laluo who live in the same general area. Jiantou is a Chinese term meaning "cone head" and is applied to this group because of their custom of wearing large, cone-shaped turbans. Married Jiantou Laluo women also wear small, green ceramic cones on their foreheads. Although the government has included the Jiantou Laluo as part of the Yi nationality, neighboring people do not consider them Yi. They call them Maganfang, after a place name in the Jiantou Laluo region. The Jiantou Laluo are a different ethnic and language group from the Mishaba Laluo.


Little is known about the history of the Jiantou Laluo. Because they have no written language, no records have been kept of their migrations and experiences.


Jiantou Laluo women retain their traditional dress, "which is predominantly green with intricate embroidery and silver-colored sequins plotted out pleasantly on their blouses - all complimented by a unique headdress."


The Jiantou Laluo are animists. They seem to have something of a fixation on spiders and have several legends involving them. One states that long ago a group of Laluo girls hid in a cave to escape the evil advances of a group of soldiers. As soon as they entered the cave, a spider came down and spun a web over the cave entrance, prohibiting the soldiers from entering. In honor of the insects, many Jiantou Laluo women embroider patterns of spiders on their clothing and headdress.


There are believed to be a few Jiantou Laluo Christians, meeting in the Three-Self church in Dali Township. The large majority of this group, however, are completely unaware of the existence of Christianity. Because of their Hui neighbors, they have had more exposure to Islam than to Christianity.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Laluo, Jiantou (Lah-loo, Jeeuhn-tow)
People Name in Country Laluo, Jiantou
Population in China 39,000
World Population 39,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Dongshan Yizu, Jiantou Lolo, Laloba, Lalu, Laluo, Maganfang
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Laluo, Jiantou (Lah-loo, Jeeuhn-tow)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18537
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country A total of 30,000 Jiantou Laluo live in three counties within the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. About half (15,000) live in Weishan County, 7,000 in Midu County, and 8,000 in Xiaguan County which encompasses the ancient town of Dali. The Jiantou Laluo mostly live in high mountains..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Lalo, Dongshanba (39,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Lalo, Dongshanba 39,000
For Primary Language: Lalo, Dongshanba

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.07 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
3.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
100.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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